Lynet’s mouth opened in shock as the pain reverberated through her body. Ranulf’s hands were hardened from riding and warring, so it was like being hit with a plank of wood. His palm swept down on the Saxon slave girl’s clenched buttocks again, and even in the dying torchlight he could see its imprint emblazoned in scarlet against the creamy flesh of her cheeks. He bared his teeth in a ferocious grin and lifted his hand again.
This time he savoured it more slowly, deliberately lingering over her pain. When his hand dropped again the fleshy white skin turned even whiter as the force of his blow drove out the blood, then it surged back and the mark of his fingers and palm blossomed again.
Following the invasion of England by William the Bastard, life in Lynet’s rural village has been nothing but peaceful. So her first reaction to the news that they are to have a new Norman overlord is excitement, but that excitement quickly turns to horror as, on her wedding night, Ranulf le Ferrier insists upon his right to take her. Then when he keeps her as his Saxon slave and has her rightful husband executed before her horror-struck eyes, she knows she is in the hands of a merciless man who will do anything to crush any resistance.
Will her Saxon bravery help her endure? Or will she be enslaved like her own defeated country?